So I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do about my hair, and I'm finding it hugely stressful. I've accepted that my hair is pretty curly (and the extent to which it zig-zags rather than curling is significant, but doesn't look any different to a casual observer and probably doesn't make much difference in either how it should be treated or what styles will have what effect), and that I can like it that way. I've learned ways of caring for it that it seems to like and that are less stressful to my hands and arms than how I used to care for it. That's all great.
I've also come to the conclusion that I really do need to cut it significantly shorter, even though thinking about that is stressful and I don't know what I'm going to want to do with it and I'm worried I'm going to hate it and all that fun stuff. The way it currently is is interfering with my life too much. It's still enough work to care for that it adds stress and frustration to my morning routine. If I do braid it, that reintroduces the pain I've eliminated. If I don't, it's constantly getting in my way when I try to do useful things around the house or do exercises to improve my health, and so is just generally interfering with my life. And I frankly don't enjoy the sensation of a warm fuzzy blanket of hair down my back when I, for instance, lean back on the sofa. Especially in Florida where it's frequently very warm.
So I'm thinking at a minimum I want to cut it back to about shoulder length. I don't have a lot of experience with shorter lengths of hair, having hated them and rushed through them to grow things out to where I could put my hair up, and not done much with styling during that time.
I think it's ok if it falls across my face occasionally and I have to brush it out of the way with my hand (I hope that's ok), but I suspect if that's going to be a factor I'll need some way, even if just pins/barettes, to get it out of my face for a while if it's frustrating me.
It's not ok if for some reason it makes me not want to lie on my back to do exercises. Ditto if it makes doing any physical task involving an object below 3' frustrating to deal with. I don't know if cutting it back to shoulder length will suffice for this; advice from people with experience of shoulder/chin/mouth length hair would be really welcome here.
I frankly don't think I'm interested in a style with a lot of upward growth above my head (e.g. what's frequently referred to as a "Jew-Fro"). I don't think I want a lot of horizontal dimension either (particularly in the "behind me" dimension). I'm concerned that these sorts of things might be the inevitable result of the sorts of styles I'm thinking of, but I think there's hope here if I take care of it right?
I want something which feels "fun".
I think from what I've looked at so far that I'm finding styles which cover at least some of the forehead look better than those which don't. I think the more general thought is that flat on top/body on the sides looks wrong to me.
I clearly still don't actually know what I want here. Maybe something shorter than what I think I want is actually where I want to be. And I'm not kidding about the stress here, and I'm finding myself frequently tempted to just buzz it off, except I'm pretty sure that won't make me happy.
Advice on styles or classes of styles or lengths or the like, and especially lived experience of such and how that might relate to my concerns highly appreciated.
[Preemptively, I do not want any discussion here on things to do with no-longer-attached hair after cutting. Any comments on that topic will be immediately frozen and the commenter banned and possibly untrusted/defriended until I stop being angry at them. I'm not kidding around here. I don't care how much I love you.]